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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Is it possible to replace the horrible standard hornby couplings with something more realistic and to decrease the yayning chasm between the carriages?
Steve
 

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QUOTE Is it possible to replace the horrible standard hornby couplings with something more realistic and to decrease the yayning chasm between the carriages?

It is easy or difficult depending on whether or not the couplings are mounted in what are known as NEM "pockets". This is the "easy" option. The pocket design is basically a hollow rectangular section box mounted a set distance from the top of the rail. Couplings which fit this box have a "swallow tail" design which slides into the box. The tips of the swallow tail come out the inner end of the box and spring out to secure the coupling. To remove the coupling you just squeeze the two ends and pull the coupling out. Then you replace the coupling with another design which has a mounting to fit the NEM pocket.

Hornby make a close coupler which will bring your stock closer together. What many people have found is that the remarkably similar Roco close coupler brings the stock even closer and works very well if your curves aren't too tight. Other people swap the couplers for items from Fleischmann. Curiously the Hornby couplings do a great job on Bachmann Mk1 coaches. Bachmann's implementation of the NEM pocket is variable, but they are rather touchy on that subject.

So where do you find these? Almost all new and recent Hornby locomotives, coaches and wagons have NEM pockets. Older stuff has the rather clunky coupling and I'm guessing from your starting post, you've probably got some of these.....

The difficult conversion is hacking off (I mean carefully removing) the offending coupling and replacing it with something more to your taste. You will of course have to decide on what coupling system you want to use. Debates on which is best tend to go on a bit. I don't think we've had one of those debates for a while, but most systems have been covered at some time or other.

I use Kadee myself. This is a US system. It is not unlike a buckeye coupling to look at, but is generally held to be nothing like anything British. I accept that and compensate myself with its operating characteristics which is principally "hands off" shunting.

And now over to someone else to extol the virtues of their favourite.....


David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 18 Aug 2008, 19:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..I use Kadee myself. This is a US system. It is not unlike a buckeye coupling to look at, but is generally held to be nothing like anything British..
The buckeye couper developed in the USA, and a version used by the Pullman car company was adopted for use in the UK on corridor coaches from late in C19th, but only by the finest railway companies. BR standardised it for mk1 and later corridor coaches, from which time it became common in the UK. In model form, both osmetically and for operational efficiency there is nothing to beat the Kadee on appropriate vehicles.

What we really need is a completely accurate and similarly reliable and automatic 'hook and chain' coupler in 'three link' and 'screw' versions. Closest approach to date is the 'Dingham': close, but no cigar I am afraid. The Kadee doesn't look right on a traditional 4 wheel wagon, I use Bachmann's version of the miniature tension lock as this can be mounted to give a loose coupled effect with the wagons buffered up when pushing, and is effective and reliable, and comes as standard on the wagons I have most of.
 

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Couplers are the ultimate personal choice.

That being said retro fitting NEM pockets can be a hassel but they are out their (at least from some of the continental manufacturers.

Personally I like the Marklin and Fleischmann coupler heads, but that is a personal choice.

Having scale hook and chain couplings is a lot of work, and IMHO limits the play ability of the trains, but I have seen a few layouts with them. Not a lot of shunting but nice to look at all the same. Your minimum allowable curve radius is also quiet large, and you potentially want to look very hard at having sprung butters on the stock as well.

If you want you can have a scale coupling on the front of your locomotives and the last wagon in your train.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info guys, its much appreciated. One thing I do want to be able to achieve is the ability to uncouple the carriages with out the hand of god. Possibily using the DCC control to activate the mechanism which uncouples the carriages. Im going to be building a carriage works loosley based on the works at wolverton and the movements are thus.

Train of carriages arrives onto siding from mainline and loco is uncoupled. Shunting loco couples up and shunts carriages into works. each carriage is uncoupled and is loose shunted onto traverser. traverser moves carriage onto appropriate road and carriage is drawn into shed...........sometime later appearing at other end having had "repairs" carried out. Carriages are then taken to the storage yard, then shunted onto trains as nesscessary.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im going to have to build a small electric shunter that was used within the sheds of wolverton (resembles a big fork lift but with out the forks!) once in the shed a hook will catch under the body and slowley pull the carriage thru (imagine a rubber belt under the floor of the building with a hook type arrangement in a slot in the floor sticking up enough to catch under the body) As its within the building and there for unseen it doesnt have to be anything special. As long as the carriage can move thru the building ill be happy! Im thinking of using the gubbins from an old tape player and have it on a timer to the carriage stays within the shed for a while!
Sorry if this discription seems a bit disjointed. im still in the planning stage!
Steve
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 19 Aug 2008, 07:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One thing I do want to be able to achieve is the ability to uncouple the carriages with out the hand of god. Possibily using the DCC control to activate the mechanism which uncouples the carriages.
Roco are shortly to release their DCC uncoupling c/w decoder for retro fitting - should be available this year.
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 19 Aug 2008, 04:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi
Is it possible to replace the horrible standard hornby couplings with something more realistic and to decrease the yayning chasm between the carriages?
Steve

Personally, I replace them with screw couplings or chain links - can't get more realistic than that!

http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering2.aspx
http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering4.aspx

Unfortunately, it is getting harder to actually fit these because a certain manufacturer whose name begins with 'B' persists in designing many of its models to use screws to retain NEM pockets and/or doubling up as body retaining fixings, right behind buffer beams in the very location where one wants to fit the spring of a screw/chain coupling.
The manufacturer genining with 'He' places buffer spring mechanisms in the same place eg Western.
The manufacturer begining with 'Ho' has these issues sorted out on all of their models I have.
For me, NEM pockets hasn't been a positive step forward for locos and wagons.

For coaches, I used an 'N' gauge Elsie coupling as on the Collett coach in:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering3.aspx

I am progressively changing over to Bachmann Ez-Mate couplings on all coaches which prototypically had them as per the MKI on the above page. NEMs have been helpful on coaches, particalarly Bachmann MKI's.

Graham Plowman
 

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QUOTE (Graham Plowman @ 20 Aug 2008, 12:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally, I replace them with screw couplings or chain links - can't get more realistic than that!

http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering2.aspx
http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering4.aspx

Unfortunately, it is getting harder to actually fit these because a certain manufacturer whose name begins with 'B' persists in designing many of its models to use screws to retain NEM pockets and/or doubling up as body retaining fixings, right behind buffer beams in the very location where one wants to fit the spring of a screw/chain coupling.
The manufacturer genining with 'He' places buffer spring mechanisms in the same place eg Western.
The manufacturer begining with 'Ho' has these issues sorted out on all of their models I have.
For me, NEM pockets hasn't been a positive step forward for locos and wagons.

For coaches, I used an 'N' gauge Elsie coupling as on the Collett coach in:

http://www.mrol.com.au/Weathering3.aspx

I am progressively changing over to Bachmann Ez-Mate couplings on all coaches which prototypically had them as per the MKI on the above page. NEMs have been helpful on coaches, particalarly Bachmann MKI's.

Graham Plowman

Hmmm. I use three links on my stock but they are absolute b***ers to connect under corridor connections, so that I need a special place on the layout where this delicate operation can be carried out. It means that my corridor rakes do not get altered much (not a problem for me I have 100+ coaches in twelve trains) but a pain for shunting. I would strongly advise using Kaydees in conjunction with electro magnets buried in the ballast for serious shunting operations. I'm changing to Kaydees on all new stock and for those RTR coaches with NEM pockets.

Alistair
 
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